Digging is the skill of terraforming or moving dirt around, and is used either to raise or lower a tile. Digging requires a shovel and increases several characteristics: body strength, body stamina, and mind logic. Destroying pavement and cultivating a packed dirt tile also increases the digging skill.
Activate a shovel and right-click a tile and select Dig. This will lower the ground and put one unit of the tile material in your inventory (if you have enough strength to carry it). Please note that the material is dug from corners or points of tiles, and the corner of reference is where you were standing when the digging finished. Where you right-click to select the dig command has absolutely no impact whatsoever on where you dig, where your avatars feet are is all that matters. The maximum slope you can dig on is 3 x [your digging skill]. e.g. A skill of 50.25 in digging will mean you can dig on, or adjacent to, a slope of up to 151 dirt.
To lower a whole tile, you must stand in each of the four corners and dig. To raise a tile, you must drop dirt on the tile corners. Digging on tiles like clay produces material each dig, but only lowers the tile 1dirt depth per 10 lumps of clay dug up.
To check if a tile is flat, you can either right-click a tile and select Flatten or examine the tile's borders. If all tile borders say "The slope is level", then tile is flat. You can also see the difference in height between tile sides by examining the tile's borders. The reference will be a certain number of units of material either away from you or toward you relative to where you are standing. For example, if the slope is 2 dirt steep towards you, go to the other end of the tile border you examined and dig twice to level the edge in question. To avoid confusion in the beginning when examining tile borders, stand near, or preferably on, the blank non-highlightable "mini-square" at the corner of a tile.
- Upon reaching digging skill level 15, you no longer have to examine nor double-click a border to see its slope. All you have to do is have a shovel activated and hover your mouse over the border. If the slope is level, it will say "(flat)". You can also check if the whole tile is flat this way, by hovering mouse over the tile itself. At 30, you can see up to 2 borders away, at 45, 3 borders, and so on.
The only instance trees will obstruct digging is when there is a tree in the NE, NW and SW tiles.
- The road would be too steep to traverse.
- Cannot dig a cobblestone road to over 20 slope steep.
- You are not allowed to drop dirt there.
- Cannot drop dirt on cobblestone road when the corner is surrounded on all sides by trees or similar tiles.
- You are not skilled enough to dig in such steep slopes.
- Slopes become too steep when the dirt slope is greater than 3x your digging skill. This includes any slopes on any tiles bordering the tile you wish to dig on. For example, with 5 digging skill, you can dig on a slope up to 15 steep.
- You cannot dig in such terrain.
- This message only happens when there is a tree in the NE, NW and SW tiles.
- You hit rock.
- All the dirt above the rock layer in this tile corner has been dug away.
- Your shovel fails to penetrate the earth no matter what you try. Weird.
- You are trying to dig in an area protected by the GMs. Most likely the Amnesty Road on Golden Valley. Find a different spot.
- You suddenly become very weak, and your arm muscles fail you. You just can not dig here it seems.
- You are trying to dig within a planned house.
- You can't figure out how to remove the stone. You must become a bit better at digging first.
- You need 20 body strength and 10 digging to remove pavement.
Activate a shovel, right-click the corpse and select Bury.
Burying is generally designed for the disposal of a corpse. An unbutchered corpse will attract carnivores so therefore it is a respectful act to bury an animal after you kill it. It is a good idea to butcher the animal with a butchering knife before it is buried. Also, remember to bury your own corpse after you pick up its inventory.
If you try to bury something on rock or in a cave, you get "The rock is too shallow to bury anything in." as the message.
A dredge is a tool used to dig dirt from under the water level. Maximum depth may be determined by your digging skill. Dredge quality is also known to affect maximum depth. You cannot dredge at a depth greater than 180 dirt below sea level.
You need a boat to dredge; any boat will do, there is no specific "Dredger" boat type. When not in a boat, you can only dredge to the same depth as you could dig with a shovel, which is 8 dirt deep below water level.
To dredge, drive a boat to +-corner you wish to dredge and disembark, drag the boat to corner you want to dredge and stand still for a few seconds, embark the boat, activate the dredge, right-click the boat and select "Dredge". Boarding the boat as a passenger may help you stay on top of the tile easier, without drifting. Dredging makes the tile you dredged steeper, just like normal digging.
Digging for Rock Guide
To set up a mine where there is no exposed rock, you must first reveal the rock layer under the dirt layer. Dig at a reasonable distance above water. Keep digging in one corner until "You hit rock" or do not have enough skill to continue digging. Once you hit rock in one corner, then you must dig in all other corners until they have hit rock also. When you hit rock in all four corners, then the rock tile will be uncovered. If you lack the skill to dig in "such steep slopes", you could dig the nearby tiles down further as well, to reduce the slope to the corners you are working on.
Small Digging Guide
For those that have trouble with any of the above guides, here is a small picture that may clarify it. This is the result of dropping a small amount of dirt on the corner of a tile:
As per the image above, if you were to stand on the center corner (right in the center of the green square) and examine the rectangular tile border north of you, the game would tell you that the "slope is 1 dirts steep away from you". If you were to stand in the top-middle, and looking south, the examine would say that "the slope is 1 dirts steep towards you".
- Visual digging with Axeblade a in game image guide to flattening 2 tiles
- Digging - Simplified an attempt to explain how to flatten a tile, and how it affects the surrounding area
- Digger at 50 skill
- Excavator at 70 skill
- Land Shaper at 90 skill